Football team 'sexting' scandal leads to police investigation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Football team 'sexting' scandal leads to police investigation

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Police in Plainfield have launched an investigation following a sexting scandal that benched the high school football team.

They said on Thursday that officers met with superintendent Kenneth R. Di Pietro and Plainfield High School principal James Worth to discuss the incident.

"During this meeting, the administration advised the Plainfield Police Department of a separate incident discovered while school officials investigated the previous incident that now warrants an investigation by the Plainfield Police Department," police said in a news release.

The separate incident appears to involve a video.

Parents said they were alerted through a voice message from Worth on Thursday.

"The school administration did learn about some inappropriate messaging and addressed the matter with every student identified and their parents," the recording said.

Police said as of Thursday, they were investigating an incident concerning video content which may be inappropriate depending on the age and knowledge of the people involved.

They said that due to the unknown ages of the participants, no other information would be released.

Sources told Eyewitness News that photos of at least five female students, one of whom was 14 years old, were traded among 13 members of the football team. The team created a group chat through social media in which pictures of the female students were exchanged.

"Way too young, because a lot of them were way underage, so I heard," said Debbie Lacara of Plainfield.

According to state statutes, anything under the age of 16 is considered child pornography.

Wednesday, parents questioned why the police department had not yet been involved in the case.

Police said at that point, they hadn't received a formal complaint from the school administration. They also said up until Thursday, there wasn't enough information to go on and people were not coming forward.

Di Pietro added that when a cell phone was looked at, the app involved was gone. That meant it was either deleted or never there in the first place.

Before the second incident surfaced, school officials said they canceled Friday's football game against Waterford.

Some parents told Eyewitness News that they didn't think that was far enough.

"Definitely more should be done," said Brad Blanchard, a parent. "I mean, suspending them for one game? What is that going to tell them? A slap on the wrist, they'll do it again."

When it comes to the internet, Quinnipiac University Chief Information Security Officer Brian Kelly said over-sharing is a problem among teens and young adults.

"Once you share anything, whether it's a photo or a personal information, you lose control over that information and others can reshare it," he said. "This new technology is just added to the list of things as parents and educators that we have to advise and teach our users about."

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